Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.
In Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People Season 2 Episode 13, “A Big Gamble” (June 26), Billy is offered a deal on a one-of-a-kind boat and the family must decide if the opportunity is worth the risk. Noah goes on a blind in town, while Matt and Snowbird build a bush hot tub.
Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Wild Times | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | SHARK WEEK! | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Lost Footage | The Wild Year
Ami takes her daughters Rainy and Birdy out for a little “quality time” shooting firearms at logs. Ami really pities all you working moms in the Lower 48 who don’t care enough about your daughters to go into the woods with them to squeeze off a few rounds to release all that anger and resentment you hold against your mother and brother. Rainy, the Katniss Everdeen of the Bush, fires off a few arrows at the log. “Kill that wood, Rain!” Birdy yells. And if you don’t want rain to kill your wood, treat it with Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Waterproofing Stain.
Bear busted a bone in his hand while being exxxxxxtreme! But fractures are just the price of being exxxxxxxtreme! Bear has to go see a doctor in Hoonah, and that’s going to cost mucho dinero. Plus, if the injury is too exxxxxxtreme, Bear might permanently lose his ability to climb trees or dig in the dirt, and that would be an awful shame. So, uh, hypothetically, is there any kind of injury that might keep someone from howling? Bear has to wear a cast on the hand for two months. That is not exxxxxtreme.
Billy has a buddy coming to see him who has an offer that is to good to be true, so it clearly is not. Every barter the Browns have been involved in on this show has been heavily unbalanced in their favor. Billy’s buddy swapped for this World War II era 62-foot wood hull sub chaser and he wants to unload it. Billy thinks such a boat could be worth $20,000, but his buddy is willing to sell it for a mere $5,000 to cover his commercial fishing fees. Billy’s burning to buy this thing, but he’s not sure about dipping into Ami’s Teeth Pulling Fund to pay for it. He does the “awww, shucks, we’re just a poor Alaskan reality TV show family” spiel. “I’m aware of your situation out here,” his buddy says. He also watches this show and reads these recaps.
Billy’s already got big plans for this boat, and he envisions one day hauling commercial freight with this thing. “It’s a blessing from up above is what it is,” Billy says, rejoicing that big boats are now raining down from Bush Heaven. But the Hoonah harbor master just soiled himself thinking of the refloating job waiting for him after Billy sinks it.
Billy’s going to check out the boat, which is docked in Petersburg, some 200ish miles southeast of Hoonah. He takes Bam, Bear and Gabe along on the ferry ride to Petersburg. Ami’s all weepy about the family being split up, and there is much silly howling at each other.
“Don’t come back without grandbabies!” – Ami #AlaskanBushPeople
— Ryan Berenz (@ChannelGuideRAB) June 27, 2015
Arriving in Petersburg, Billy and the boys meet Deacon Blue, who looks like a hybrid of the Gorton’s Fisherman and a garden gnome. Deacon is keeper of the keys to the Integrity. The Brown boys are in awe of this vessel. I’m in awe over the irony of the boat’s name.
Back at Brownton Abbey, Noah has a blind date arranged by an acquaintance of Susie the matchmaker, because Susie’s sick of dealing with this family and is dumping dead-end clients on her friends. First, Noah must shave, and he’s got a bush shaving kit full of reclaimed and repurposed items. “Cleanliness is a virtue,” he says, and that these items are not a luxury but a necessity. Noah and Matt have vastly different approaches to courting the ladies. Noah likes 15th-century chivalry and other romantic ideals that make no practical 21st-century sense. He’s currently constructing matching bush chastity belts out of leftover bush clothes incinerator parts. Matt just likes to get laid down at the dump.
Noah, wearing what appears to be a goth pimp Halloween costume, goes to Christy’s house to ask her grandparents for her hand in … going to the swings. Grandpa has a shirt with zombie salmon on it that reads “Spawn Of The Dead.” Noah vows to protect Christy’s honor with his meager life. Gramps be like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Noah takes Christy to the park, wipes off the swing seat so she doesn’t sully her arse with dirt. He offers to push her on the swing because she is a toddler. They talk about their mutual love of dandelions and how most people think they’re weeds but they are really beautiful flowers with medicinal properties for relieving indigestion, which we’re all suffering from by watching this show.
(Digression! I hate dandelions with a passion. Screw dandelions. I will eradicate every single one of those vile weeds. I come from a long lineage of turfgrass-obsessed lunatics who demand absolute perfection of their lawns. Unfortunately, my neighbors do not share these ideals. They grow dandelions as if they were cash crops. My sons, ages 2 and 4, have to go into the neighbors’ yards to harvest dandelions because their father gleefully kills every dandelion on our property. My boys like to take the neighbors’ dandelions when they’ve become seed-laden puffballs and blow the seeds in my yard. Yes, I did the same thing as a young boy, but I eventually learned of my folly from my father, and someday my sons will learn from theirs. This digression has been brought to you by RoundUp Weed & Grass Killer.)
Remember when I noted that Bear’s date with Sara/Sarah was the saddest ever caught on camera? Noah just blew that one out of the water.
In the sub-subplot, the producers give Matt something stupid to do because stupid is what Matt does. He wants to build a bush hot tub in a hole in the ground using a tarp as a liner and an old steel drum as a heat source. Ah, there’s nothing quite like relaxing in a lukewarm puddle with your younger sister.
Back in Petersburg, Billy is all giddy about the Integrity. “This is reaching the point of being too good to be true,” he says. I think we’ve passed that point years ago. “There’s a catch. There’s a catch somewhere.”
Billy hears voices in his head. I sense another coma coming. #alaskanbushpeople
— Ryan Berenz (@ChannelGuideRAB) June 27, 2015
The catch is that the boat needs a lot of updating, and Billy’s thinking about higher fuel costs. “I can’t get something that’s just going to be a money hole,” Billy says, forgetting that he already has a money hole in Ami’s toothless maw. Bear is just happy to have “a boat that is almost as exxxxxxxtreme as I am.” Gabe wants to transport the Statue of Liberty on it. Good luck with that, son.
I’m organizing an Alaskan Bush People Boat Doesn’t Start Scene drinking game. Can they just knock off this cheap gimmick already? It’s so predictable. It’s tired. It adds no real tension or drama. It just pisses away more time, because someone felt this show doesn’t piss away enough. Billy gets the boat started and he’s pleased with how the engine sounds and performs. Of course, once he takes the keys from Deacon Blue, the engine doesn’t start. After much hand-wringing and buyer’s remorse, they discover that someone simply “kicked the fuel valve off.” The engines fire up and Billy is pleased. “I’m driving a dream right now,” he says.
But brining the Integrity back home will be a difficult journey, fraught with perils like bad weather, poor visibility, beautiful but dangerous Sirens, and the narrow passage between Scylla and Charybdis. “The journey will be the ultimate test of this boat,” our dear narrator informs us. I think we all know that the real danger awaits not on the high seas but in the home port: